Announcing Grants Round 12!

Grants Round 12 is almost upon us! Gitcoin’s biggest quarterly event is kicking off on December 1st and running through December 16th, 2021.

Key highlights:

  • Over $2M in total matching funds, breaking all previous records
  • New thematic and ecosystem rounds, and a $1 million main round
  • Support for grants check out with Polygon
  • A new decentralized Grants experience
  • GR12 Hackathon hosted alongside the grants round!

Join the GR12 Kick-Off Livestream

On Wednesday, December 1st at 10:00 am MST Gitcoin will be hosting the GR12 Kick-Off event. Core Gitcoin contributors will present alongside key partners to celebrate the beginning of GR12 and showcase the many improvements we’re making to our flagship grants offering!

The Kick-Off Livestream event is a great opportunity to learn more about Gitcoin and how we’re paving the way for funding Public Goods outside of just the Grants program. There will be special guest speakers, in addition to a POAP distribution and a POAP.art painting party. More details to follow. 


Introducing Ecosystem & Thematic Rounds

Ecosystem Rounds

In the past, there was a single matching pool for all grants, with thematic categories (e.g. NFTs) and regions (e.g. Africa) within. 

In GR11, in addition to the main pool, we added Ecosystem Rounds. Ecosystem Rounds are a new type of matching pool in which eligibility is set and determined by a specific project in the space, but funding continues to be determined through Quadratic Funding. 

After testing this approach with “Gitcoin Building Gitcoin”, we rolled this out to the first external partner – Uniswap Grants Program (UGP). To learn more about this, see this case study. This allowed UGP to promote platform-specific grants to help mature specific aspects on their platform that wouldn’t have been possible to accomplish within their team directly.

Ecosystem rounds are typically focused on:

  • Usability – improving the user experience
  • Community – growing the ecosystem
  • Tooling – improving the developer experience
  • Governance – building tools and enhancements for governance
  • Protocol Politicians – campaigns for governance champions and delegates

Uniswap saw over a dozen grants successfully funded, totalling over $110k in contributions from the community alone. Due to this success, Gitcoin is expanding Ecosystem Rounds and partnering with UGP again, along with Polygon and a few other ecosystems we are really excited to share in the coming days.. 

Thematic Rounds

While Ecosystem Rounds are aimed at rallying funding for and signaling sentiment within a particular project’s community, Thematic Rounds are in support of a particular ‘cause’ or ‘theme’.

The idea behind thematic rounds was kicked off in collaboration with Other Internet. After their piece on positive-sum worlds, Gitcoin wrote a call seeking new kinds of public goods. Many of the submissions touched on how web3 interacts with the real world, beyond its usual interest in digital infrastructure. 

Based on this, Gitcoin has worked with the DAO to choose three main causes in GR12: Climate Change, Tech Advocacy, and Longevity.

Climate Change

This round will focus on projects combating climate change, both in Web3 and beyond. Working with climate activists in the All for Climate ecosystem like Xavier Damman and academics like Primavera Di Filippi we are working to curate an initial list that will help set the stage for larger climate rounds in the future.

Advocacy

This round will focus on helping to fund advocacy organizations who sit at the intersection of tech and crypto activism. The Gitcoin community is working alongside the Ethereum Foundation, Fight for the Future, and EFF to help curate a list of groups that have helped push forward the policy conversation for web3 and the decentralized web more broadly.

Longevity

This round will focus on open science in the context of longevity, a topic close to the hearts of a number of major figures in the Ethereum ecosystem including Vitalik, who recently made a large donation to the Methuselah Foundation in the latest of a string of donations supporting the cause. The list of grantees for this round was curated by VitaDAO with the help of the Gitcoin community.

When creating a new grant, you will soon be able to see the new matching pools and select the ones that are most relevant. If you have an existing grant that may qualify for one of these new matching pools, we will provide a way to request matching funds. More details on this process will be announced prior to GR12. 


Decentralizing Grants (dGrants)

In May of 2021 Gitcoin released GTC in order to decentralize Gitcoin governance to our community. Much has already been written about why this is important, including in our announcement post here, but in general we believe decentralization is the best way to fulfill our mission to build and fund the open web. By turning governance over to the community we increase Gitcoin’s legitimacy, getting not just consent but also administration from those we serve.

What we’re looking to do is turn Grants into an open source protocol, one which anyone may fork and build on top of (dGrants). That way projects may benefit from using the Quadratic Funding algorithm and related technology to run their own grants programs. Users may freely create and fund grants without being censored. Once the Grants protocol is available projects may build their own UX and curation model on top of it as well, giving their communities a unique experience. The workstream will provide working reference implementations of a Grant Explorer UI and curation module which can be forked and modified if desired.

Learn along with the Workstream and help shape the future of Gitcoin Grants. Comment on the proposals in the governance proposals, help drive decisions through discussions on GitHub, and get hands on with the most forward edge of decentralized funding technology. Reach out directly in gov.gitcoin.co, or in Discord here.


Key Product Improvements

Gitcoin has worked hard to ensure that our application servers and databases can handle the traffic loads of Grants Round 12. New and existing grant owners will be welcomed with a management panel on their grant page that will display approval status, when to update their grant information, as well as claiming notifications for when matching pool funds have been distributed and ready to claim.  

Gitcoin has also improved upon the functionalities of explorer filter, sort, and search. The scrolling functionality has also been improved from GR11 feedback. Overall, we’re looking forward to having a much improved browsing experience. Gitcoin is also incorporating a new decentralized grants protocol as a special “Gitcoin Building Gitcoin” matching pool, where users can experience the future of grants through our dGrants protocol and application. 

GR12 will also have three checkout options: Ethereum, zkSync and Polygon’s $MATIC. We hope that grants funders and owners will benefit from further choice of tokens and lower gas costs.


Governance

GR12 Matching Pool Proposal Community Feedback

Currently, Gitcoin is looking to solicit community feedback as it relates to how GR12 Matching Pool Allocations should be distributed. During the GR11 Finale event Vitalik Buterin voiced an observation that the Quadratic Funding mechanism should function just as well without the use of Matching Pool Categories. Gitcoin has historically utilized categories to determine matching pool allocations based on a percentage of the overall matching pool fund during Grant Rounds. Specifically in GR11, the $800k “main” matching pool was allocated as follows across 7 category pools:

  • Infrastructure: 25%
  • Dapp Tech: 25%
  • Community: 20%
  • NFT Tech: 10%
  • dGov: 7.5%
  • Africa: 7.5%
  • Latin America: 5%

During GR12, the Public Goods Funding workstream  wants to test Vitalik’s theory that Quadratic Funding should be as effective at allocating funds as allocation via categories. By doing away with specific grant categories and having all grants listed together, we hope to experiment with simplifying and decentralizing matching. This is a radical change in how we’ve historically set matching funds for grants’ matching pools, but a challenge we believe will help to better understand how to best implement Quadratic Funding. 

Furthermore, Gitcoin Holdings will be publishing a deep-analysis comparing our historic category-driven grant round over the non-category GR12 results to see how these two approaches differ and if there are any inherent benefits/drawbacks.

GR12 Matching Pool Allocations Snapshot Vote

To submit your feedback on how the GR12 Matching Pool Allocations should be distributed, please post a comment on the Gitcoin Proposal Discussion page. Community feedback is being accepted until Thursday, November 18th

Community feedback will be added to the official Matching Pool Proposal which will then be published for an official vote via Snapshot. The GR12 Matching Pool Snapshot will be available for all GTC holders to vote on starting Monday, November 22nd thru Monday, November 29th. 

New this round, Gitcoin has installed the POAP Snapshot plugin and will be distributing POAPs for all GTC holders who participate in the GR12 Matching Pool Official Snapshot vote.

How to Participate in Grants Round 12

New Grant Owners

If you have never used Gitcoin Grants and are looking to raise matching funds in Round 12 you’ll first need to create a grant. We recommend taking your time to fill out this form, as the more detail provided in the grant description directly influences the success of your grant. After you have provided detailed information on the “who”, “what”, and “how” in your grant application you’ll want to create a visually appealing logo to grab the attention of potential donors. Learn more about how to maximize your matching here.

If possible, submit your grant before December 1st to ensure your grant is approved set to active status. There is typically a 2 to 3 day review period before grants are published after being submitted. Unfortunately due to the time required to verify and approve grants for matching eligibility, grants submitted after Friday, December 10th at 11:59p UTC may not receive GR12 Matching Pool funds. 

Current Grant Owners

If you have an existing grant, now is the time to review it and provide updates in order to maintain an ‘active’ grant status to be eligible to receive Matching Pool funding. It’s good practice to provide milestone updates on your grant to keep your funders updated. If you haven’t updated your grant since GR11 ended your grant is currently listed as “inactive” and will not be eligible for Matching Pool funding. 

A few grant upgrade ideas:

  • Any new logos and/or branding assets 
  • Updated project roadmap
  • Provide a progress update on the project
  • Update/Provide social media links

If you need support, see if your question has been answered in the Grants FAQ page and if not, please reach out in the #grants-support channel in the Gitcoin Discord.

Builders, Let’s Hack – Join the GR12 Hackathon! 

We’re once again running a Hackathon alongside Grants Round 12. And it’s not just for developers! Whether you want to help as a designer, project manager, write documentation, or do something else, there’s room for you! Often the projects that do well at hackathons are the ones that focus on more than just code. Join a sponsored hackathon and team up with new friends to tackle new challenges and learn new skills while earning rewards in Open Source. Find out more and get hacking here. 

Connect with the builder community in Discord by selecting the ‘Virtual Events’ role in the #{start-here} channel. Find a team and connect with builders on the Gitcoin Discord in #{team-up}. Check for updates on the Gitcoin Discord in #{builders-general} and #{gr12-hackathon} and your email inbox. Make sure to submit your projects by December 16th at 11:59 pm UTC.

That’s all for now! We’ll be sure to keep you updated as Grants Round 12 gets underway.

We’re so happy you’ve joined us to build and fund the open web together!
– Team Gitcoin

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